In a bid to influence attitude adjustment in Nigerians towards the environment and mitigate flooding and other disasters this year, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).The MOU will help to streamline activities of stakeholders in the bid to provide information and remedies in the event of flooding as predicted by NIMET
Speaking at a joint press conference by the chief executives of the three agencies, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri said President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive for all agencies of government responsible for mass sensitization on disaster mitigation to get together to improve disaster awareness in the country plus several meetings of these three agencies have culminated in the tripartite MOU. Mr. Omeri said the three agencies have evolved strategies that would mitigate the outcome of the “heavy” rainfall forecasted by Nigeria Metrological Agency, adding that Nigerians must imbibe what he called an “attitude adjustment programme” to address waste disposal habits.
“Out of grave concern, the Federal Government has directed that proper strategies be evolved to deal with floodings. The three agencies have agreed to work together to increase the impact of government’s concern on the issue”,Omeri said.On her part, the Director General of NESREA, Mrs. Ngeri Benebo said there was need for drastic action to change the attitude of Nigerians towards the environment, warning Nigerians to heed environmental protection regulations in order to prevent “future man-made disasters” as climate change would result in heavier rainfall in 2013.She said “NESREA and NEMA in this collaboration will bring their technical know-how to bear. NOA on the other hand will use the advantage of its wide spread to educate and sensitize the public to bring about the right attitude.
The Director General, NEMA Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi said NEMA had reached out to all stakeholders to ensure that “we achieve effective disaster management”, noting that there could not have been a better time for these concerted efforts to bring about improved flood management in the country.Asked if Nigerians should expect floods in 2013, Alhaji Sidi promptly said “Yes! We are going to have floods this year”, but assured Nigerians that NEMA is geared up for better response to emergency this year.The year 2012 witnessed overwhelming floodings which ravaged several communities in Nigeria with Adamawa, Jigawa, Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra, Delta States badly affected, resulting in many deaths and damage to property worth billions of naira. This tripartite effort by NOA, NESREA and NEMA is aimed at mitigating the effects of floods in 2013.